We don't often get the opportunity to fly the flag for the 1980s, but in our latest issue we were pleased to. As many of you already know, the theme of this issue is 'Before & After'. The interesting thing about the renovation Julian Guthrie (of Godward Guthrie Architects) designed for this house on Auckland's Takapuna Beach was that in some ways, the original house didn't need too much altering. That was partly because it was designed in hte late 1980s by good architects in the first place: the Auckland firm of Mark-Brown, Fairhead, Sang and Carnachan. And it is partly because Julian's changes were so astute.
One of Julian's main interventions (apart from updating the kitchen and bathrooms) was the relocation of the stairway that connects the home's upper and lower levels. Here's what the hallway used to look like before the stairs were moved (the sloping site means you enter the home on the upper level, while the lower level connects with the garden and the path to the beach):
And below is one of Patrick Reynolds' photographs of it afterwards. Julian says moving the position of the stairs made the connection between the home's upper and lower levels much clearer, and also made it feel much easier to move between the two.
The transformation is particularly evident when viewed from the home's lower level. Here's the 'before' shot:
And here's the 'after'. Much better!